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Home > World News > South China Sea ~ Dual US Navy Carrier Strike Groups

South China Sea ~ Dual US Navy Carrier Strike Groups

An MH-60S Sea Hawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, South China Sea, 09 February 2021 [US Navy: MC2 Zachary Wheeler]

The US Navy Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups have conducted dual carrier operations in the South China Sea.

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US Navy News Release, 09 February 2021: The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group conducted dual carrier operations with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, February 9.

The ships and aircraft of the two strike groups coordinated operations in a highly trafficked area to demonstrate the US Navy’s ability to operate in challenging environments. As a part of dual-carrier operations, the strike groups conducted a multitude of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability between assets as well as command and control capabilities.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, left, transits in formation with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn [US Navy: MC3 Wade Costin]

“Training with Carrier Strike Group Eleven in the South China Sea is a tremendously valuable opportunity,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Nine. “Through operations like this, we ensure that we are tactically proficient to meet the challenge of maintaining peace and we are able to continue to show our partners and allies in the region that we are committed to promoting a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, 09 February 2021 [US Navy: MCS Deirdre Marsac]

Carrier Strike Group Nine and Carrier Strike Group Eleven last conducted dual-carrier operations on June 21, 2020, in the Philippine Sea. The last time the US conducted dual-carrier operations in the South China Sea was in July 2020, when the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups twice operated together in the South China Sea.

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, 09 February 2021 [US Navy: MC3 Wade Costin]

“Working cooperatively alongside Carrier Strike Group Nine improves our collective tactical skill while ensuring regional stability and security,” said Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11. “We are committed to ensuring the lawful use of the sea that all nations enjoy under international law.”

This exercise falls into a long history of the US Navy operating in the Indo-Pacific. Dual carrier operations, like this one, are not new and are intended to maintain US readiness and combat-credible forces to reassure allies and partners and preserve peace in the region.

A C-2A Greyhound assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt as it transits the South China Sea, 09 February 2021
[US Navy: MC3 Wade Costin]

CSG 9 consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS John Finn (DDG 113).

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett, left, transits in formation with the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton in the South China Sea, 09 February 2021
[US Navy: MC3 Wade Costin]

CSG 11 consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Sterett (DDG 104), and Destroyer Squadron 9 and CSG 11 staffs.

Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing 17 fly over the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, 09 February 2021 [US Navy: MCS Deirdre Marsac]

7th Fleet is the US Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet and employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. USS Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific on Dec. 23 while USS Nimitz departed Bremerton, Wash., April 27 for COMPTUEX and deployment following an onboard restriction of movement period that began April 1.

The Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups are on scheduled deployments to the 7th Fleet area of operations. As the US Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, the 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region.

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, 09 February 2021 [US Navy: MC3 Wade Costin]
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